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A cold night in paradise: Sleeping atop all of Colorado's 14ers
When other mountain climbers hear about the "Sleeping On The Summits" project to spend the night atop each of the named 14,000-foot mountains in Colorado, their first reaction is: Are you crazy?
"There's a reason this has never been done before," acknowledged Chris Tomer, one of the two "Sleeping on the Summits" participants in a mission that took 95 days last year to accomplish.
Actually, Tomer's "Sleeping On The Summits" partner, Jon Kedrowski, personally can testify to the power of lightning, too. He was in his tent, on the summit block of Mount Harvard at 9:50 p.m., when the air suddenly was so charged that the zippers on his jacket and the tent were buzzing.
"And I was, like, 'Oh, this isn't good,' and I grabbed my pack, grabbed my shoes, rolled off the summit blocks and ran, and 20 or 30 seconds later, the lightning struck, almost like a bomb hitting," Kedrowski said.
The strike trashed the tent, a demo he was testing for Sierra Designs. The following morning, Kedrowskisaw that the bolt's heat had fused two metal poles together.
"A 'worst-case scenario' is what Chris called it," said Kedrowski, a geographer and professor who recently worked as a consultant on a National Geographic movie about Mount Everest.
"But by then, we'd slept on 54 peaks. We were almost done with the project."